Everyone will take a hit. Whether everyone wants to take a hit does not matter. The hits may be in reduced benefits, postponed retirements, limited opportunities for government funding or any of a million other areas.
The troubles in Europe show that the one-size-fits-all euro has a downside. If Ireland had not adopted the euro, Irish officials could have made earlier adjustments that might have prevented the current crisis. But Ireland ceded monetary policy to the European Central Bank.
The lesson for the U.S. is to avoid universal solutions for problems of diverse origin. Decisions on what to trim may not come program by program. Some cities or states may go belly up. Frugal cities and states may not want to be dragged down by their more profligate neighbors.
Who is greedy then? The folks who would not change their ways or the folks who deny the foolish cities and states a lifeline? That debate is as old as it is unresolved.